Table of Contents
Going Out: Cinema
Alex Garland is one of the most consistently electrifying voices in sci-fi, with Ex Machina and Annihilation both best-in-class explorations of their themes. His latest is less sci-fi, more horror, but all stunner. Looking at misogyny from a surreal angle, it stars Jessie Buckley and multiple creepy Rory Kinnears.
Set on Fårö, the island where the director Ingmar Bergman lived, this drama sees a couple of film-makers attempt to work on their screenplays without getting too intimidated by the ghosts of legends past. It’s a little arch, but a likable cast (Tim Roth, Vicky Krieps) keep things ticking.
Director Rob Savage is one of the great recent success stories of British horror, with his pandemic-era Zoom film Host electrifying locked-down audiences. Now he is taking the found footage horror show on the road, layering twist on twist in the very definition of a wild ride.
Hamlet from Met Opera Live
To see, or not to see? That is the question. And the answer is “hell yes”, given the Hamlet in question is Australian composer Brett Dean’s acclaimed production, presented live from the Met tonight, in the year’s hottest slice of event cinema, with tenor Allan Clayton playing the Dane. Catherine Bray
Going Out: Gigs
Royal Festival Hall, London, 10 June
This year’s Meltdown festival opens with an intimate performance from its curator, otherworldly pop culture icon Grace Jones. Billed as “Up Close and Orchestral”, it features the I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You) hitmaker performing some of her favourite songs alongside some previously unheard material.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
O2 Apollo, Manchester, 5 Jun; O2 Academy Brixton, London, 7 & 8 June
With new music on the horizon – their first since 2013 – New York’s art-rock trio, led by the inimitable Karen O, arrive in the UK for a whistle-stop tour ahead of a summer of festivals. With four albums under their sweat-stained belts, expect an expansive lesson in artful noise-making. Michael Cragg
Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, 5 June; Sherman theatre, Cardiff, 8 June; touring to 18 July
Postponed from last year, Music Theatre Wales gives the premiere of Tom Coult’s first opera at the Aldeburgh festival before touring their production, which is directed by Jude Christian and conducted by Andrew Gourlay. With a libretto by playwright Alice Birch, Violet is the story of a woman’s escape from dull routine as time accelerates and society collapses around her. Andrew Clements
Leeds jazz festival
Various venues,to 12 June
The expat American saxophonist and clarinettist Michael Moore, an ingenious manipulator of crossovers between the jazz mainstream and the avant garde, makes a rare UK appearance on 4 June at Leeds. Issie Barratt’s all-female Interchange (on 5 June), including saxist Helena Kay and pianist Zoe Rahman, is another hot ticket.
Going Out: Art
David Hockney Love Life Drawings 1963 to 1977
Holburne Museum, Bath, to 18 September
Hockney is a magician with a pencil or pen, his drawn line apparently casual yet unnervingly precise. He draws in the tradition of his hero, Picasso. This show of sketches and finished works on paper from the 1960s and 70s (work pictured, above) should live up to its title, his motto: love life.
Serpentine Gallery, London, 10 June to 16 October
This year the Serpentine’s summer pavilion is designed not by an architect, but by multi-talented radical artist Gates. His building, called Black Chapel, is inspired by religious spaces yet also by the giant industrial revolution pottery kilns of Stoke-on-Trent. It’s art, but solidly built in collaboration with Adjaye Associates.
Gagosian Grosvenor Hill, London, 9 June to 26 August
A spectre is haunting Mayfair: the spectre of a summer show inspired by Marxism, at this very successful capitalist gallery. Whatever the argument – something about ghosts of lost futures – there are enough notable artists, including Ed Ruscha, Rachel Whiteread, Jim Shaw, Jenny Saville and Urs Fischer, to guarantee something good.
Tramway, Glasgow, to 14 August
Christelle Oyiri’s art is rooted in the Paris dance scene. This first solo show draws on her experience as a DJ and performer, as well as her Ivorian and Guadeloupean heritage. A red vinyl bed, a hand holding a candle, a montage of memory and protest: this is a gathering of history’s fragments. Jonathan Jones
The Car Man
Royal Albert Hall, London, 9 to 19 June
Matthew Bourne transports Bizet’s Carmen to small-town America in the 1960s. It’s a steamy drama of jealousy, lust and revenge – one of Bourne’s best. The 2000 show is reimagined and expanded to fill the Albert Hall (above) with 65 dancers, a live orchestra and new designs from Lez Brotherston. Lindsey Winship
Regent’s Park Open Air theatre, London, to 2 July
Courtney Bowman stars as Elle Woods in this musical version of the giddily enjoyable Legally Blonde. Directed by Lucy Moss, co-director and co-creator of Tony-nominated musical Six.
Kabul Goes Pop: Musical Television Afghanistan
Harlow Playhouse, 8 June, touring to 20 June
Waleed Akhtar’s debut play is inspired by Afghanistan’s first youth music TV. Two presenters beam out global pop hits to their teen audience against the backdrop of a resurgent Taliban. Miriam Gillinson
Leicester Square theatre, London, 9 to 11 June
London venues can’t get enough of cult US stand-ups at the moment, but Birbiglia is no flavour of the week. He is an alternative comedy stalwart whose sprawling CV takes in everything from Orange Is the New Black to This American Life – and, most recently, a late-night stint covering for a Covid-afflicted Jimmy Kimmel. Rachel Aroesti
10 June, 9.30pm, BBC One & iPlayer
Romesh Ranganathan (above) plays the gentle, unassuming Jonathan in this gentle, unassuming sitcom about a man forced to face up to a lifetime’s worth of infuriatingly passive behaviour when his wife (Jessica Knappett) leaves him.
Everything I Know About Love
7 June, 10.40pm, BBC One & iPlayer
Dolly Alderton’s compulsively readable coming-of-age memoir heads to the small screen, bringing with it much Fleabag-esque emotional chaos, a millennial-friendly reckoning with the ambiguities of adulthood, and a tear-jerking celebration of female friendship – plus some deliciously nostalgic early 00s flashbacks.
We Own This City
7 June, 9pm, Now & Sky Atlantic
The Wire creator David Simon returns to Baltimore with another gritty and granular critique of modern American policing. This six-parter about how the city’s Gun Trace Task Force went rogue is disturbing, sophisticated and rollickingly entertaining – thanks partly to a standout performance from Jon Bernthal as the corrupt cops’ ringleader.
8 June, Disney+
Yes, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is becoming almost ludicrously unwieldy at this stage, but this new series – helmed by British standup Bisha K Ali – about an Avengers-obsessed Pakistani-American teenage girl who becomes an actual superhero feels like a refreshing and necessary addition to the comic-book canon. RA
Out now, PC, Nintendo Switch
An appealingly animated, sharply written game about cheating at cards in an 18th-century French parlour – and getting away with it.
Out 10 June, PS4/5, Xbox, PC
A horror game where your choices determine the fate of nine camp counsellors, trapped together in a remote American forest. That can only go well, right? Keza Macdonld
Staying In: Albums
Tom Aspaul – Life in Plastic
On his DayGlo second album, Wolverhampton bop merchant Tom Aspaul (above) travels back to the late 90s, referencing the likes of Ace of Base, Aqua and Steps. There’s even room on the bouncy MNEK-assisted What is Real Anymore? for a dash of summer-ready UK garage. Life in Plastic? It’s fantastic. (Sorry.)
Post Malone – Twelve Carat Toothache
Featuring the likes of the Weeknd, Doja Cat and Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, this fourth album from the poster boy for dour hip-hop explores the emotional turmoil of recent years. While oppressive recent single Cooped Up focuses on obvious frustrations, Love/Hate Letter to Alcohol digs deep into his struggles with addiction.
iamamiwhoami – Be Here Soon
Arriving in 2009 via a series of mysterious viral videos, iamamiwhoami, AKA Swedish singer-songwriter Jonna Lee and producer Claes Björklund, have steadily built their own audiovisual world. On their fourth studio album, Lee explores the relationship between motherhood and artistry on songs that swap electropop for something more organic.
Angel Olsen – Big Time
Written about her recent experience of coming out as gay, Angel Olsen’s sixth album finds her moving away from the opulent alt-rock sadness of 2019’s All Mirrors in favour of something more rustic. On the crumpled title track, for example, the overwhelming rush of new love is augmented by a delicious country twang. MC
Reinventing the Orchestra with Charles Hazlewood
6 June, Sky Arts
As the founder of the Paraorchestra – a pioneering ensemble of disabled and able-bodied musicians – conductor Charles Hazlewood (above) has first-hand experience of how music can be radically inclusive. This fascinating documentary sees him explore how orchestras can further adapt.
Poet Camille Dungy takes us on an ASMR-inducing journey around New York’s Met Museum in this series. Focusing each episode on a different material – from paper to clay and shells – Dungy weaves an impressionistic narrative around their artistic uses.
BBC Writersroom script library
The BBC’s in-house writing development programme contains a hidden online gem: a library of scripts for some of its best-known shows. Budding writers and fans alike can read episodes of Doctor Who, Luther and more. Ammar Kalia